Mother, bark and saliva are just three of the 23 words first uttered by humans about 15,000 years ago. These three words mark the beginning of verbal communication. Soon, communications evolved from sending smoke signals to sending letters with carrier pigeons and relay phone calls. Fast forward to 2022, and humanity is considering the needs and implications of technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G, and Metaverse.
The consumer technology industry is undergoing historic change. According to a 2021 Deloitte survey, the pandemic has intensified the use of consumer electronics, including smartphones, wearables, TVs, laptops, game consoles, and more. This drives consumers towards a digital lifestyle and a seamless need for personalised products and services.
Additionally, households have become more tech-savvy as the penetration of the internet, knowledge and affordable gadgets increases. This has also led to the adoption of smart wearables that help simplify people’s daily lives. From answering calls while driving to staying informed about work/college notifications, smart wearables make the most fashionable and functional statement.
These palm-sized gadgets have taken the world by storm, from fitness freaks using smartwatches to optimize their workouts, gamers using neckband headphones/TWS to enhance their mobile gaming experience, and fashionistas pairing earbuds and smartwatches with clothing. A study by Cognizant Solutions showed that these devices are often seen not only as “technology” but also as “fashion”, thus giving rise to the concept of “fashionology”.
Considering the changes consumers are starting to interact with smart wearables, it is necessary for brands to draw inspiration from the current movement in fashion, art and music, and products need to be design-centric. This is followed by a focus on aesthetics, user-friendly functionality and great attention to detail.
A key point to note here is the pricing of the product. The smart wearables market is a growing industry, with new brands entering and creating a niche for themselves. To ensure customer retention, brands need to ensure affordable and competitive dynamic pricing.
Today, millennials and Gen Z have changed the way the market works. They’re looking for the latest and advanced features at prices that won’t leave a hole in their pockets, especially for those who use their monthly pocket money to buy a smartwatch or earbuds. Still, the key is for brands to understand that they cannot lower the price of a product simply by lowering the quality. Product pricing should be a balance between strong features and specifications and product innovation.
Now, even more notably, the average watch wearer is slowly turning to smartwatches. This applies not only to customers, but also to brands. Booming watch brands have recognized the opportunities in the smartwatch market and are now taking advantage of evolving technological concepts to cater to their customers.
Well, it’s only fair that we delve into the hearables section. Have you seen anyone today without TWS or earbuds plugged in? In my case, today I see everyone frantically typing on their laptop to jot down scores while listening to their favorite music or answering the phone.
The audio wearables industry has witnessed unbridled growth over the past two years, with consumers recognizing the need to answer calls hands-free without being tangled in wires. This comes with the need to block background noise, minimize distractions and have adjustable audio settings.
Whether it’s TWS or earbuds, a key requirement for customers is great battery life, fast charging capability and ANC. Therefore, it is necessary for brands to comply with this demand and strive to seek differentiated solutions.
This brings me to another important discussion point, customer awareness. With the smart wearables market steadily growing and attracting customers of all ages, the most engaged are the youth of the country. Millennials and Gen Z make up the majority of the Indian population, making them the most conscious and hardest to please. Branded products and services should be relevant, easy, useful, and aesthetically pleasing.
Evolving trends suggest that an important driver of the smart wearables category is the younger demographic, not because they are the biggest market today, but because they are the true source of knowledge, feedback and advice for any brand. In this dynamic market, brands need to explore the world of young people and offer irresistible solutions that are also accessible.
So next time you’re looking for a gadget, be sure to ask young people because you’ll be amazed at the knowledge of the industry and products they have to make the right buying decision at the right time. Thus even getting developers to put on their thinking hats to deliver new and innovative products.
While smartwatches and TWS/earbuds are the latest trends, there will be something more interesting in the future – the normal use of smart gadgets like smart glass, clothing or jewelry. Imagine a day when your Invisalign might indicate that your body needs water, or a ring that reminds you that you’re typing too long and need to rest your fingers and arms. This is the future of smart wearables; it’s not near but not far. Although the segment is still in its infancy, the transition to these smart gadgets will be seamless.
In conclusion, the wearables market is growing faster than expected, producing innovative products and services every day. It can be said that the future of technology has arrived and the next step will be the convergence of wearables and IoT to increase efficiency and bring smart wearables to the next level. We have witnessed a surge in demand for smartwatches and TWS to create work-life balance and monitor their day. Brands will eventually see a surge in demand for the same apparel, eyewear, helmets, and other gadgets to make their daily lives more harmonious.
The author is the CEO of Dizo India.
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